Tokyo, Japan - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Citi Foundation announced today that they will continue this year to co-host Youth Co:Lab, a program that supports youth-led social innovation and entrepreneurship to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Youth Co:Lab is now accepting applications to participate in the Social Innovation Challenge Japan 2021, the centerpiece of Youth Co:Lab’s activities.

The Social Innovation Challenge Japan 2021 aims to showcase and support the business ideas of young SDG entrepreneurs which, in turn, unlock the potential of youth and generate more innovative solutions for social issues.

To further support the success of young social entrepreneurs, the third Social Innovation Challenge in Japan will welcome applications from high school students for the first time. The event aims to generate new business models and ideas focused on the SDGs. Applications will be accepted until 12:00 noon on Monday, October 4, 2021.

Details of the Social Innovation Challenge Japan 2021 are available on UNDP Tokyo’s website.

In 2020, more than 50 applicants from Japan and abroad participated in the Social Innovation Challenge Japan 2020, which was held virtually. Nine teams passed the second screening and each of them presented their business ideas to an audience of 250 and a panel of judges.

Co-created by UNDP and Citi Foundation, Youth Co:Lab is the largest youth-led social entrepreneurship movement driving the implementation of the SDGs in the Asia-Pacific region. Since its inception in 2017, Youth Co:Lab has supported more than 8,000 young entrepreneurs and helped catalyze the establishment and expansion of close to 1,000 social enterprises. The number of people participating in the events has reached around 75,000. Youth Co:Lab has presence in 25 countries/territories in the Asia-Pacific region.

The program was launched in Japan in 2019, with the aim of empowering youth to create new solutions for achieving the SDGs and expanding a youth entrepreneurial ecosystem that supports young entrepreneurs who endeavour to find solutions for social and environmental issues. For this purpose, Youth Co:Lab has actively engaged with the government, civil society, and the private sector.

About Youth Co:Lab:
Co-created in 2017 by UNDP and the Citi Foundation, Youth Co:Lab aims to empower and invest in youth so that they can accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through leadership, social innovation and entrepreneurship. Youth Co:Lab also aims to foster young people’s 21st Century skills by offering mentorship support for youth entrepreneurs through the Springboard Programme, and collaborate closely with partners in the social entrepreneurs ecosystem. By 2022, Youth Co:Lab will be officially expanded to 28 countries and territories in the Asia-Pacific region.

Further details and ongoing updates on the Youth Co:Lab Japan can be found on UNDP Tokyo’s website and social media:

www.jp.undp.org  | Twitter: @UNDPTokyo | Facebook: @UNDPTokyo

About UNDP:
UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet.

www.undp.org | Facebook: @UNDP | Twitter:@UNDP

About Citi:
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

www.citigroup.jp | www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube | Blog | Facebook | LinkedIn

About Citi Foundation:
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant communities. The Citi Foundation's "More than Philanthropy" approach deploys the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com.

Media Contacts:
Hiromi Amano, Youth Engagement Consultant at UNDP Representation Office in Tokyo

Corporate Affairs
Citi Japan

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